Posted by Sarah Schuman, MS, CCC-SLP on 3/9/2023 to
General Medical and Dental Information
A Brief Guide on Microstomia
Micro + Stomia = Small + Mouth Opening
Microstomia is a significant reduction in oral aperture resulting in functional impairment and causing difficulties with nutrition, speech, dental care, intubation, prosthodontics, cosmesis and overall quality of life.
The main causes of microstomia are burns, scleroderma, trauma and cancer surgeries. For example, between ~4-11% of thermal burn patients and 30% of facial scleroderma patients may develop microstomia.
Congenital microstomia such as from craniofacial disorders is quite rare.
Orthotic appliances are available for static and dynamic lateral stretching of the lips. Custom devices can be created for circumoral and buccal stretching. For burns, appliances are generally worn continuously for 6-months, then overnight until the scar is mature. Injections, massage, and exercise may also improve outcomes. Surgery is reserved for severe cases.
The OraFlex™ Microstomia Prevention Appliance
The OraFlex™ MPA appliance provides manual, static and dynamic stretching of the lips and mouth for both prevention and treatment. The device includes the OraFlex Appliance, a pack of elastic bands for dynamic stretching, and a pack of wraps for static stretching.
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